I was speechless. I was still pinching myself about actually having an agent, and when she called to say there was an offer I actually thought I’d misheard her and asked her to repeat it.What inspired you to write My Life Next Door?
A series of things that suddenly clicked in my mind. My lifelong fondness for and fascination with big families, one of my older daughters reading Romeo and Juliet, reading A Secret Garden to my younger children (I always had a soft spot for Dickon, the charming guy with his love for animals).
Where and when can you be found writing?
I write any chance I get. I do a lot of it late at night. I actually carry my laptop from room to room. Another book I loved growing up was I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. The heroine of that writes a journal and always says she finds inspiration from working in different places. If I remember correctly she even writes sitting in the kitchen sink at one point. I have not gone that far, but moving about seems to work for me.
How do you decide what to name your characters?
One of my daughters named the heroine—I described her and she thought for a little while and came up with ‘Samantha Reed’. Jase just sort of hit me the right way. For some reason it’s usually easier for me to get the hero’s name than the heroine’s.
Apart from reading and writing what occupies your time?
Family and spending time outdoors as much as possible. And trying to come up with new ways to spend as little time as possible doing laundry.Who are your favourite authors and what is it that strikes you about their work?
I might have too many favourite authors to name. I adore John Green, Stephanie Perkins, Deb Caletti, Jennifer Echols, E. Lockhart, Kristan Higgins, okay, stop me!Favourite fictional crush?
Again—so many. Etienne St. Clair, Augustus Waters. I still carry a torch for Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind, which I remember reading late into the night by flashlight when I was eleven, under the impression that it was an extremely racy book I should not be caught reading.A perfect day would consist of…
Getting up early, writing a few scenes I knew were good, then going to the beach with my family. Ice cream should also be involved.
If you were given a chance to travel back in time – to any destination in the world at any time– where and when would you go?
I have this weird compulsion to want to solve historical mysteries, so I think I’d want to investigate questions like “Did Emily Bronte really burn her second book?” and “What happened to the Princes in the Tower”. I’m not sure if that makes me curious or just nerdy!
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